The Wooden Horse. Part 11. As we await the October 1 arrival of Legonium pars tertia, here is some complete nonsense in 12 parts.
From the translation of The Aeneid, Book II by John Dryden
A nameless crowd succeed; their forces join
T' invade the town, oppress'd with sleep and wine.
Those few they find awake first meet their fate;
Then to their fellows they unbar the gate.
custodes : custos is another noun that takes its gender from the actual gender of the individual. It means guard. custodes is plural. It is nominative, to indicate that it is the subject.
portarum : porta is a feminine noun meaning ‘gate’. portarum is plural to indicate the presence of multiple gates (despite what the picture might suggest). It is in the genitive case, indicating that it means ‘of the gates’.
sine : sine is a preposition that means ‘without’. It is always followed by a noun (or pronoun) in the ablative case.
mora : mora is a feminine noun meaning ‘delay’. Here it is singular and ablative. It is ablative to indicate that it forms a prepositional phrase together with sine.
occisi sunt : occidere is a verb that means ‘to kill’. occisi sunt is the only passive verb in this story. All the other verbs have been active. Passive verbs have a subject, just like active verbs, but with a passive verb the subject isn’t doing something, it is having something done to it. And in this case, it’s pretty nasty. occisi sunt is third person plural, because the subject custodes requires that. It is in the perfect tense, to indicate an action that was completed in the past.
Translation: The guards of the gates were slaughtered without delay.